Men…..read this.

The following post IS directly related to preparedness – preparedness for your soul, your life, and your happiness. I originally posted it back in September of 2013 however I felt the need to put it out there again. Being aware of the changes that have happened in my life have also made me be able to improve. My journey has just begun….and it is fantastic. Much of what I am going to present is just a small segment of what can be much more eloquently read in the pages of a book called Wild at Heart. I have been meeting with a group of men who have been studying this book and the premise behind it – and we all attend Elevation Church in the Charlotte, NC area.

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Isn’t it amazing how life changes? Sometimes life changes dramatically but it cannot even be seen due to it happening over weeks, months, and years. Sometimes it isn’t even realized until you sit and think back and memories tell the truth – you have changed. Sometimes the change might be for the better, sometimes for the worst, and sometimes a combination of good and bad. These changes effect your relationship with your wife, and your kids. If you are anything like me you may realize these changes have stolen who you once were – and maybe really are.

Do you remember sitting in elementary school? You sat in the classroom where rules were everywhere. Be quiet! Sit down! Don’t touch! Pay attention! Did complying to all of that come natural to you? Me neither. Why? Because you were a boy! Society takes boys and girls and sticks them in a classroom and then expects everyone to act like girls. Yes – I know it may be breaking news but there are fundamental differences between boys and girls yet society says boys must act like girls. Boys act like girls? Not a chance! Want me to prove it? Take a boy and a girl and give them each sticks. The girl will likely go “ewwwww!” and put the stick down while the boy will create an adventure by making the stick a sword and battle dragons, or turn it into a gun and blast the bad guys.

Boys are meant to explore, to run, to jump, to experience adventure and danger. Girls are more “prim and proper” and play with dolls and play dress up. We – as men – are different.

KidsInSchool

Let’s jump ahead a few years to high school. Remember? You had friends – several close ones likely. You guys would go hang out, talk about girls, maybe what you wanted to do with the rest of your life. You would get together and just flat out have fun. We were guys being guys and it was awesome!!

All the while having fun with your buddy’s you pursued girls. That’s what guys do, right? Dating was an adventure! The mystery of getting to know your girl, wondering what was going to happen, having numerous first experiences – the adrenaline rush was just flat out additive. You ended up meeting one girl – THE girl. You dated and you asked her to marry.

This is when the changes really started. After marriage you and your buddies suddenly stop hanging out so much. Society says that husbands need to be with their wives – not with other men. That could lead to trouble. Another change happens – you kinda let yourself go. You gain a few pounds – after all you have a women and your not out trying to impress anyone anymore. Next you have a kid or twelve. Now your time with the buddies is pretty much non-existent as you have responsibilities with school plays, soccer games, and birthday parties. Your working full time – if not more – to provide for your family. Your life has fundamentally changed in many significant ways in just a few short years.

What happened?

Life happened. Modern, stereo-typical life took over and brought you far away from what God meant for you. I am in no way suggesting marriage and kids are a negative thing. No way. What I am saying is that society has molded the modern man into something that is unnatural. Modern man is generally passive, dismissive, and anything but the MAN that God meant for us to be. Men have a natural instinct to be adventurous, and to experience danger.  They are not meant to be stuffed into a cubical for 8-10 hours every day, go home and sit in front of the TV watching “Dancing with the Stars”, kiss the kids good-nght, and do it all over again the next day.

Does Bob look like he has much adventure in his life?  

 

Truthfully – how many of you live this life? How many work a dead-end job because it provides, and you live a shelter of an existence compared to the man that your wife fell in love with? Remember when you were dating and you would shower, put on fresh, clean clothes, some aftershave – and dazzle your girl with your best “swag” to impress her. Do you still do that for your wife? I didn’t think so.

This has turned into a very long description as to what happens to most men. The thing is it can be reversed. I have seen it happen right in front of me. It is incredible.

How? Well, I am no expert – but I have a few suggestions:

1. Get closer to God. Yes – that is number one as getting closer to God will provide you with a sense of peace, direction, and the knowledge that through any struggle you are not alone.

2. Appreciate your wife….and SHOW IT! So many of us “won” our brides and then failed to continue to be that which she fell in love with. Tell her that you love her – just because. Send her flowers – just because. Leave her a note on the visor of her car – telling her to have a great day. Plan a special “date” by picking her up and taking her out to eat, and maybe a walk in the park (shower, aftershave, and dress up for the occasion – she’s worth it!). Whatever you do – just do something and start today. Show her that you ARE the man she married – and guess what….she just might show you that she is the WOMEN that you married. Would you like that?

3. Be the leader of your house. I know the women reading this might be saying, “Now hold on!” I am talking about setting the example to your wife and your kids. Lead by taking them to church. Lead by doing the right things when it is so easy to do the wrong things. Tired from working all day and you don’t feel like playing with your kids? Consider that some day they will be grown up and you will wish to give anything to go back in time to play with them – just once more. Do what you know you should – not just what is easy.

4. Go on an adventure!!! Experience danger!! This is critically important to get your heart back – the heart of a man. Go play paintball, go mountain bike riding, go off-roading – do something that makes your heart come alive. Whatever it is….schedule it. Plan it. Make it part of your life – on a regular basis.

5. Have other men as friends. Many men nowadays have other males that they know – but are they truly friends? Co-workers might be good to out to lunch with and talk about how the Pittsburgh Steelers are really stinking this year – but do they have your back? Will they answer the phone at 3:00am when your need someone to talk to? Will they drive two hours to come to your aide when your car breaks down?  After high school, after marriage – many men disperse into their own little universe and loose that which is truly needed – friends. Find yourself a “brother” – or a band of brothers to spend time with an be just “one of the guys” again.

 

In my own life over the past 10 months I have discovered two things – God and that I was but a shell of what I once was. I am on a journey to be a man once again – in the eyes of my kids, my wife….and in God’s. I have brought adventure back into my life. I have a group of male friends that are developing into a “band of brothers”. I am trying to show more appreciation and love for my wife and early signs are our relationship is improving.

Lastly – I could care less when others think negatively about my discovering God and the changes I have made. This is MY life – and I am living it MY way.

Rourke

 

 


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18 Comments

  1. hey, you are exactly right. I have provided for my family, and will always. I sure as heck don’t watch dancing with the stars. I have been married for almost 20 years, has it been perfect, Hell no. Both of us have hurt each other in ways you can’t imagine, but we love each other so much that we battled through the hard times and hate to say it, grew up together. Once our boys were born, things really took a turn. We had tried for so many years with so much disappointment, but with a little help from Jesus, we were blessed. Now, the wife and I, and two boys are inseprabale. Life us good.
    Now being a part of a great group of guys in Florida, it was hard to depart and move two states away. I have seen that it obvious has bothered them but I’m not going to change my decision. I grew up here and have always wanted to come back. Now that I’m back, I take great honor in calling you a friend and the other guys as blood brothers. As you know,i’m career military and you have a band of brothers that its hard to replace when you transition to civlian life, but all you guys have been great in welcoming me into your group and Im humbled. I look forward for the 3:00 am call, from any of you.

    • Glad to here it senior! Agree – we have a good group and hopefully it will be expanding. Same here – call anytime and I will be there.

  2. As a woman…..I can STILL relate! I came back to my 1st husband, (after a divorce, another marriage and divorce, and this is my 3rd marriage to my 1st, same with him). We have 4 sons from our 1st marriage, who are now grown and we have our grandchildren (raising our granddaughter) to appreciate and live for. He still has his work, his hunting and boating with our son’s and his buddy’s. We are farm-living and I am close with other farmers wives, gardening, harvesting, yardsales, etc. This marriage God was brought into our lives. We worship Him and teach our children the simple life with peace and joy is really what it is all about. Our past, wild lives (sin), has been erased and we have been forgiven. We honor our God with living the honorable life. We have also became more politically active in doing our part in saving this great nation, for our children. Thank you for those that have served and are actively serving. God bless.

  3. Glad to see some men are taking action to reclaim their masculinity. It’s so simple really: Do what’s right and stand by it. Lead by example. Hopefully the media war on men will change soon. Great article.

  4. Rourke!,

    In all my own years as a Christian man, I’ve not seen what appears to be a revival among men to actually BE men. I am glad to hear that your group out there a bit east of us here in WA state is following the path you’re on.

    I love to hear the updates on your walk like this. I’d love it if you’d write an occassional article for one of my two sites, but I know you’re quite busy (an my sites don’t get anywhere near the traffic yours do – but that’s because I don’t refularly write, sadly)

    In the service of the King,

    JavaMan

  5. Right on point Rourke. We have feminized men in America and in church and need to “man” back up. Men need to be men and women be women as YHWH God made us. We need to be about serving God and serving others! Men need time with me to be who we are and do what we do. Thanks for sharing. God bless America. Keep your powder dry, your Bible with You and be prepared at all times, take care of your family.

  6. Great article. I read that book several years ago. Really enjoyed it. Lots of sissy men out there today. I refuse to be one of them.

    God Bless.

    Be Safe.

  7. Well said, Rourke. It’s the same process I’m going through.
    I believe that the key to really making a great change in life from bad to good is reaching that point of brokenness the Bible speaks of from time to time. When you’ve done all you can do on your own and you’re weighted down with all the problems and heartaches that we as men can so easily pile on ourselves through our thoughts and actions, that’s when you have no where else to look but up. I’ve been underneath the bottom…it ain’t fun. But Jesus was still only a breath away, just waiting on me to come home.
    Coming home to Christ is the greatest “attitude adjustment” we can ever go through…suddenly everything is clearly discernible when it’s in Sonlight. When you realize that YOU don’t have to carry the load all by yourself, you suddenly find yourself able to love and be loved a whole lot easier. Even the dog will notice the change because you won’t be kicking him anymore 😀
    God makes a bad man good and a good man great.
    There’s no greater love than to lay your life down for a friend. How much more should we do for the family we were blessed with? I remember holding my newborn daughter (God, I walked her down the aisle last January!), and promising her that I’d always be there for her. That cornerstone of the love I have for my family (and by extension, my friends and my nation!), has not been moved.
    We all grew up hearing great thinkers debate “the meaning of life”. Well, there’s the meaning of your life…men, be a MAN and do WHATEVER it takes WHENEVER it takes and HOWEVER it’s required to fulfill the mission that’s defined by your values. I don’t have to explain that.
    You get me.

  8. As a woman I peeked so I could get to understand men even better. Thanks Rourke and blessings on your adventures. Tinkicker-I hope you and no other person will ever kick a pet again – ever.
    It takes a solid man to stand up for what he believes in and to protect his loved ones and to be gentle when its called for .My husband and son are fine examples of being Christian -being a mans man and yet treating us woman with tenderness . The Native American good Red Road teaches that it takes a warrior to protect first and war when absolutely necessary.
    Men and woman are complimentary -the Lord made us this way . Arlene

    • Appreciate that Arlene. The book I referred to there is actually a woman’s version. I should probably take a “peak” into that one.

  9. I had that job of adventure.

    Later when the daughter was an adult she confessed being worried about that strange man mom was with (I had left home for two weeks in the Middle East and came back a year later, or was it Eastern Europe or Africa, or South America, or Asia??). Of course along the way, the bills got paid, the children raised, but the price for that life of adventure, the terribly high price.

    Life was one adrenaline binge after the other and each time it took just a little more excitement, a little more risk, to get that high – for we are never more alive than when death is but a breath away.

    I remember telling a PH that there was no thrill in hunting Cape Buffalo, so what if I just winged one – and then when I wounded a lion in the tall grass he was truly unhappy, presuming incorrectly that I dinged it for the excitement engendered in tracking a really dangerous animal.

    Following retirement, one has time to reflect upon life.

    I began to view my wife as God’s Great Gift to me, something that should have occurred to me much earlier. How could I have treated my Gift in the way I did – absent as much as I was. Approaching my fourth decade of marriage, I appreciate my Gift more now than when we were first married.

    Somehow and in spite of all too frequent absences, my son became a real man and my daughter, a proper lady and physician. The dreams are more vivid and I still awake easily, too ready to do battle.

    PR

  10. Thank you Rourke. The feminization of my faith has been troubling me for some time. The good lord hasn’t changed but the addendums put on by the church have been giving me large problems. Will give that book a read. God bless

  11. Sometimes I ask GOD to change a situation. When I should be asking GOD to give me strength to handle the problem.I know he is there at all times.

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